For her graduating collection, Jen decided to study and design for the childrenswear market. Tropical Madness is a Spring Summer 2022 capsule collection of minimal yet funky designs for animal obsessed kids to bring awareness to the animals who aren’t currently endangered but will be if the destruction continues.
When researching the current children's market, Jen found most of the shoes and accessories for sale were gendered with stereotypical colours and prints. In response to this, Jen set out with the intention to create a non-gendered collection to be appeal to all to not influence them by a label.
In June 2020, Greenpeace recorded 2 248 forest fires, a 20% increase from June 2019, becoming the largest number since 2007. Forests are sacrificed for agriculture and cattle farming to feed the growing population of Brazil. This destruction has put the lives of 10 million species and ingenious tribes at risk, with nowhere to call home.
The aim for my graduating collection was to create a kids’ footwear & accessories brand, offering a range of non-gender specific products, using animal motifs to promote the plight of the dwindling rainforests. Including animal motifs into the designs would appeal to animal loving children. I used a mixture of photography from Frans Lanting and children’s illustrators drawings, like Axel Scheffler, to create my own illustrations that can become appliqued designs.
To create a successful collection, I contacted a couple of footwear brands to see what materials were best to use and the important aspects to consider when designing shoes for children. I wanted to use hardwearing materials, like crepe and leather, so the products could be passed down when the child grew out of them.